Schwartz: 10 Sentences, Isaiah Moss Edition

May 5, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

How do you evaluate the loss of a player whose major points of contribution are unquantifiable? How do we say goodbye to someone whom we supported during his formative seasons who leaves just before the big payoff?

1. Before we get into the topic of why the departure of a 9 point-per-game scorer seems like such a big deal for Iowa’s men’s basketball team, it’s important that we put Isaiah Moss into the proper context and perspective.

2. Moss, who left the team last week with one year of eligibility remaining, is doing nothing wrong by leaving, committing no moral, ethical, or NCAA-related misdemeanor; he’s going into his senior season, wants to play as much as possible, and sees more opportunity for meaningful PT away from Iowa City than in it.

3. So good for him, but still, it feels a little like we’re getting cheated because we’ve stuck by this guy for three years, watched him mature as a player, get better, stronger, smarter, quicker, and now as he nears the final chapter of his college career, after having made a significant leap between his sophomore and junior seasons, it’s another fan base — another team — that will receive the benefits when clearly he could have brought so much to the Hawkeyes next season.

4. I liked Moss from Day 1 of his redshirt freshman season because he consistently scored in transition, something not a lot of Hawkeyes could do beyond an occasional player such as Mike Gesell, Peter Jok, and Eric May.

5. Plus, he put forth effort on defense, even if he wasn’t always successful (but who is, right?), even while he was at the time a below-average three-point shooter.

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6. But he worked at the three-point shooting and became one of the team’s most dangerous, consistent (there’s that word again) deep threats, plus he had a knack for maintaining his composure against teams perceived as being the Big Ten’s most difficult.

7. He scored 13, four over his eventual season average, last December against Michigan State during another one of the Spartans’ poundings of the Hawkeyes; the following month he scored 13 again in Iowa’s loss to Purdue; and he put up 23 points in a loss to Minnesota.

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8. The point is, Moss did not play scared, did not play intimidated, did not let the moment get to him – sure, he had bad games or, too often, games when the statistical production failed to meet his team’s needs.

9. But there’s something to be said for the type of player who doesn’t retreat from a warm, bright spotlight, and obviously there are benefits to being a senior, and Moss was/is prepared to be both of those things – he just won’t do it while wearing a Hawkeye uniform, which is a tremendous bummer.

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10. So no, it’s not like losing Isaiah Moss is the equivalent of losing Zion Williamson, but good teams need a player like Moss: steady, consistent, fearless, talented enough to be periodically dangerous, and there will be a good 2-3 moments next season when, during the heat of the moment, his presence will be missed; farewell Moss, you left your mark on the Hawkeye program.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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